ThinkFast: August 6, 2007

In an editorial entitled, “Warrantless Surrender,” the Washington Post writes that Congress was “stampeded into another compromise of Americans’ rights.” The Post adds the bill was “as reckless as it was unnecessary” and “was scarcely considered at all.”

Most Americans disapprove of the Iraq war and of exporting democracy by force, yet neoconservative proponents of those policies advise the leading Republican presidential hopefuls. “There is an overwhelming presence of neoconservatives and absence of traditional conservatives that I don’t know what to make of,” said Richard Allen, former Reagan White House national security adviser.

The NY Times writes, “One part of the Justice Department mess that requires more scrutiny is the growing evidence that the department may have singled out people for criminal prosecution to help Republicans win elections.” One especially egregious case appears to be that of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, whose conviction is “disturbingly weak.”

The Pentagon has lost track of about 30 percent of the weapons given to Iraqi forces, raising fears they have landed in insurgents’ hands. 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols have vanished. The GAO reported that the weapons distribution “was haphazard and rushed and failed to follow established procedures, particularly from 2004 to 2005, when security training was led by Gen. David H. Petraeus.”

Fox pundit Bill Kristol claimed the Minneapolis bridge collapse didn’t “symbolize any great failure of our infrastructure.” Bush said he would veto a bill that would increase the national bridge and highway maintenance budget from $4 billion to $5 billion. Sen. Chuck Schumer warned, “Our maintenance of our bridges and highways [has] been cut back for too long.”

The Huffington Post has introduced FundRace, a new online tool that discloses who is funding and influencing the 2008 presidential election. The feature allows users to easily find the names and addresses of contributors to presidential candidates.

“A suicide bomber slammed his truck into a densely populated residential area in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar on Monday, killing at least 28 people, including 19 children, local authorities said.”

“Declaring a new direction in energy policy, the House on Saturday approved $16 billion in taxes on oil companies, while providing billions of dollars in tax breaks and incentives for renewable energy and conservation efforts.”

“Eight months after Democrats vowed to shine light on the dark art of ‘earmarking’ money for pet projects, many lawmakers say the new visibility has only intensified the competition for projects by letting each member see exactly how many everyone else is receiving.”

And finally: Tiger Woods gets his own D.C. drink. The D.C. restaurant TenPenh’s drink mix of ginger limeade and passion-fruit iced tea — formerly called an Arnold Palmer — has been renamed for Tiger Woods. “It felt weird,” says a restaurant spokeswoman. “We couldn’t serve an Arnold Palmer in an Asian restaurant.”

What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section.